News

  • 4 Simple Ways to Spark Your Career Success

    As skin therapists we have all at one time felt frustrated when appointments seem scarce, the salon is slow or retails sales are not up to par. However, don’t let these bumps in your career put out your fire! In an industry that can be fiercely competitive, you have to channel your passion, ignite your spark and show the world that you know and love skin. Remember, YOU are the skin therapist that is going to be changing lives (or at least skin health!). The advice is simple…get obsessed, become a true skin enthusiast and an expert in your craft—and most importantly, believe in yourself. The fact is, you already know how to be successful; you may have just gotten distracted for a moment. Let’s get re-focused! Confidence brings clients and if you share this same sense of passion for the industry, then read on for ways to spark your success.

    Get empowered through education

    The best way to learn and experience what is going on in the industry is to continue your education in and outside of the treatment space. Many of us found our way into skin care by actually being a client first; receiving treatments from another professional is an excellent way to experience various techniques and to get inspired. The industry is constantly changing and evolving, and we must be able to do the same. Take the time to strive towards your professional best by staying up to date on product innovations, learning new techniques and ingredients. Whether this is online, in the classroom or receiving a treatment, education = empowerment and clients are seeking that type of elevated training in a therapist.

    Make the connection

    General networking events are a great way to meet people, however, take a moment and think—where are you making your most impactful connections that not only inspire you but the business you’re in as well? Kick start your philanthropic spirit by getting involved with groups or initiatives that create meaningful relationships, where people want to propel each other’s success. Client’s like to do business with professionals who do good. Get involved and give back.

    Don’t know where to start? Visit Dermalogica’s FITE page for ideas and resources.

    Put your PR On

    Consider this as your personal rave, your personal reputation, your passion re-ignited. Take charge of brand YOU by sharing with your clients why you love what you do and why you are the best. Are you an exceptional brow specialist? Are your extractions painless? Is your massage the best in the city? This is not the time to be bashful about your talents. Be proud of what you do, as there is nothing wrong with bragging as long as you can back it up. In other words, you’re kind of a big deal.

    Get local on your social

    Even if you don’t have a million followers on Twitter, you do have local raving fans and they want to know what you recommend for treating the skin. With social media you can create that instant connection with clients and even gain a few new ones in the process. Your advice on skin health can be given anytime, any day by posting about what you do on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Clients want to be educated and will readily read and re-post your skin care secrets. Don’t be shy about your healthy skin tips, embrace your inner expert and share! You can even fill up that empty spot in your schedule by using your social media to instantly alert clients that you have an opening versus calling them. Trust me, they are checking their Facebook page more often than their voicemail.

    Use these simple steps to spark your professional success and growth. It’s time to put your newfound confidence to work and invest in creating the career that you deserve!

  • Bacteria and Breakouts: A Deeper Look into P. acnes

    We’ve all experienced some form of breakout and sometimes it seems to have appeared overnight. How did this happen?! As skin therapists we immediately do a mental checklist of possible triggers—was it stress, hormones, diet, product? We know that on a basic level, acne occurs within the sebaceous follicle by excessive skin cells, sebum, inflammation and presence of bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). However, we also know the process of acne is anything but basic. Let’s take a deeper look at the one element of this process that is always with us: bacteria.

    P. acnes is part of the natural skin flora and accounts for about 87% of the bacteria. It grows deep inside follicles, lives anaerobically and feeds on the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands. For the most part, this bacteria can be relatively harmless; however, if follicles become plugged, the low oxygen levels and accumulating sebum create a prime environment for the growth of P. acnes.

    Using sebum as an energy source, the bacteria produces lipase that converts triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids, causing inflammation and irritation. The inflammation then triggers the innate immune response and white blood cells are activated. Next they release destructive enzymes and free radicals that causes extensive damage to the surrounding tissue. This damage often stimulates the production of more pro-inflammatory mediators, making it easier for the bacteria to multiply and continuing its vicious cycle. By understanding the behavior of P. acnes, we can get a better handle on how it can be managed for acneic clients.

    Porphyrins as seen through VISIA

    Porphyrins as seen through VISIA

     

    The Other P Word

    P. acnes produce porphyrins, which are groups of organic compounds that play major roles in processes like oxygen transportation and photosynthesis. When observing skin under a Wood’s lamp, you may even see them as fluorescent spots or dots. P. acnes synthesize and store large amounts of porphyrins that ultimately pays favor to LED treatments, such as using a Blue light to treat acne. The Blue light excites the Porphyrins that causes them to release free radicals into the bacteria therefore killing them from the inside out.

    A Sticky Situation

    The bacteria also produces a natural self-protection mechanism called biofilms. These are clusters of bacteria that are attached to a surface and are embedded in a sticky slime layer. The biofilm surrounds the microbes and helps it adhere to the follicle and can further promote hyperkeratinization. This same biological glue that allows the cohesion of the biofilm could also cause keratinocytes to stick together creating comedones.

    Research has also shown that the formation of biofilms seems to be a natural behavior for bacteria, but this formation has a consequence—it appears to be resistant to antibiotics, a common therapy for the treatment of acne including topical and oral medications. It is suspected that the antibiotics are not able to penetrate into the biofilm because the bacteria are tightly packed into a cluster.

    What’s in a Strain?

    P. acnes reside in the pilosebaceous unit, but its presence doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual is going to have acne. Several studies have indicated that specific strains of P. acnes bacteria are more commonly associated with acne prone skin versus normal skin, which may point to why some individuals are more predisposed to breakout while others are not.

    A UCLA study discovered that acne bacteria contain “bad” strains associated with pimples and “good” strains that may protect the skin. Through metagenomics, or the study of collection and analysis of bacteria in our environment, research has uncovered three specific strains of P. acnes in the skin’s microbiome; two that are found to be dominant in acneic skin and one strain in healthy skin.

    As scientists continue examining the relationship between our microbiome and acne, we can at least steer our clients to specific key ingredients to help contain acne formation and keep P. acnes at bay.

    Ingredients to target bacteria:

    Colloidal Silver

    Lactobacillus Ferment

    Benzoyl Peroxide

    Tea Tree Oil

    Cinnamon Bark

    Spirea Ulmaria

    Polygonum Cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) Root Extract

  • Shining the Light on LED

    Derm_Headshot28775BB-e1422475470394-150x150For some, using Light Emitting Diodes (LED) to treat certain skin issues like acne and aging may sound too good to be true. How is it that shining a light on your client’s face will clear up those pesky breakouts and plump up their skin? Well, the science is in the stars. About 40 years ago, scientists at NASA discovered through plant growth experiments that light therapy was a beneficial way to repair damaged cells and speed up the healing process.

    Through the years the basis for this technology has been accepted as a non-invasive popular application to treat a variety of common skin conditions. LED photomodulation works similar to the way photosynthesis works in plants as it triggers the body to convert the light energy into cell energy. The light encourages natural cellular activity and “re-energizes” the cells in the skin.

    While the visible spectrum of light can be represented in many LED devices, we are focusing on the most researched and effective light waves: Red and Blue.

    Red LEDRed for Wrinkles

    Red light therapy, is a technology that uses visible red light wavelengths from 630-660 nanometers and infrared light wavelengths at around 880nm to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. Red and Infrared light increases energy inside cells and jump-starts the production of collagen and elastin to help make skin firm and supple. Because the layers of the skin have a high content of blood and water, it makes it easy for the skin to absorb light. Most researchers agree that light therapy increases production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)—the energy or battery life of cells—and it may also work by targeting water layers on elastin, gradually restoring its elastic function reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles. In addition, Red Infrared light therapy also assists with blood circulation, which effectively transports oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Along with fighting wrinkles, red light therapy has been used in skin healing for rosacea and even eczema.

    Blue LEDBlue for Blemishes

    Blue light has a wavelength of 400–490 nm and has special effects on the skin especially when it comes to treating acne. When blue light reaches the sebaceous glands in the skin, it can help excite porphyrins, which are compounds inside acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes). When porphyrins are activated, they release reactive oxygen molecules that damage the bacteria internally, basically killing the bacteria from the inside out. Since red light helps accelerate wound repair, it’s often used in combination with blue light to treat acne, encourage healing, and lessen acne scarring and under the skin lesions.

    These two light wavelengths can effectively and gently make significant changes in the skin at a deep level by repairing cells, stimulating collagen and elastin and helping to treat acne. By incorporating these light therapies you can add another level of expertise to your skin treatments and energize your services.

    Keep in mind before shining that light—manufacturers of LED devices must gain FDA clearance in order to make certain claims about their devices. It’s always good to check on the company’s status and proven results before purchasing so you can ensure your client’s treatment is on track for optimal skin health.

    To see LED in action, watch the IDI webisode Using Machines to Power up Your Treatments-Part 2.

  • Pregnancy Skin Care Dos and Don’ts

    Pregnant

    The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and the skin is no exception. Skin changes occur in about 90% of pregnant women in one form or another; and Mom-to-be’s will have some pressing skin care questions on ingredients and treatments.

    There are many opinions between doctors and different studies with varying information, so it’s imperative that your clients consult with their physician prior to the use of skin care products and receiving treatments.

    Here are three of the most commonly asked questions by professional skin therapists when it comes to treating pregnant clients.

    1.  Can I use Salicylic Acid?

    This Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an excellent exfoliant and can be used to treat acne. In high concentrations it is considered a risk during pregnancy and should be avoided, especially in professional resurfacing. Small percentages used in skin care (for example less than 2% in a wash off) are considered safe.

    2.  What about the use of aromatherapy?

    It’s recommended to avoid using essential oils during the first trimester. This topic is controversial between practitioners and there are varying opinions to safety, however, it depends on the type of oil and dilution. Usually approved non-toxic blends around 1-2% dilution are considered safe for body massage and skin products. Hydro-essentials, which are water-soluble fractions of the essential oil, are safe as they do not penetrate the blood stream. Your client should consult her doctor before any essential oil use.

    3.  Can I use technology in my treatment room?

    The use of electrical modalities is not recommended, which includes Galvanic, High Frequency, Microcurrent, Ultrasonic and Laser. Microdermabrasion has mixed expert reviews, with most stating to use with caution. We would not use microdermabrasion over aggravated acne or dilated capillaries. Be mindful when using it on hyperpigmented skin as causing more inflammation can make this condition worse.

    This handy ingredient checklist (below) can help you decipher the dos and don’ts when treating pregnant clients. When in doubt, have your client discuss their skin care options with their OBGYN and/or general physician if they are currently pregnant, nursing or considering pregnancy in the near future. Always work with caution if the client is in her first trimester and/or has had complications with her pregnancy or previous pregnancies. If she opts to avoid certain ingredients and/or products, the best course of action is to honor her choice. What is most important is that we help the new mother achieve her skin care goals safely and effectively.

    Pregnancy Yes and Nos

  • Get Bikini Wax Ready

    wax-sunny-beach-girl

    With the summer months just around the corner, many people are looking forward to spending time at the beach or the pool, and for some – they are mentally preparing for their bikini wax. Whether your client is veteran of hair removal or is new to this grooming habit, here are some quick tips to ensure your client has a safe and successful treatment.

    Meet and Greet

    When booking the waxing service, be sure to ask the client when they are expecting to unveil their skin to the sun. Ideally, the client should wait to wax at least 48 hours before or after any UV exposure. A proper consultation is imperative and it will help you assess any contraindications, such as infected skin, systemic diseases, diabetes and oral medications like Isotretinoin. Don’t forget to communicate the extent of hair removal with the client. Going bare or barely there can determine not only the length of the appointment but the type of wax you may want to use (hard wax versus strip wax). Soft or cream wax is perfect for larger areas and hard wax is excellent for those intimate areas since it is used at a low temperature. This wax literally shrink wraps the hair and is less irritating to the skin. It’s also a perfect time to discuss common reactions expected with a waxing service such as bumps or minor irritation. For females close to their monthly cycle, it’s recommended to wax no less than two-three days before or after to help lessen chances of sensitivity.

    Pre-game Checklist

    Once the appointment has been booked, the client should begin preparing for the treatment. I’m not talking meditation, but a few grooming items can make the service go smoothly. Suggest the client gently exfoliate the area two to three days prior to the service to help lift the hair and remove any dead skin cell build up. Shaving should be discontinued 10-14 days prior to allow for the proper hair growth, about ¼” to ½” is ideal. They should also keep hydrated both internally with water and externally with a fragrance-free body moisturizer. The more hydrated the skin, the better the waxing experience. Dehydrated and dry skin can often result in lifting. Advise the client to avoid alcohol and caffeine before the service as both can serve as a stimulant and pre-sensitize the skin.

    After-care Advice 

    The waxing service does not end once the hair has been removed. An at-home care checklist is always helpful for the client to review and understand. For 48 hours after the bikini wax, recommend that they avoid sun tanning and tanning beds, saunas, or swimming as well as intense exercise, sweating and tight clothing. Do suggest light exfoliation a few times a week in between their services to help prevent ingrown hairs. Once the client is waxed and ready for fun in the sun, remind them to apply sunscreen along that exposed bikini line to avoid a UV burn.

  • Get Soy Smart!

    In recent years, Soy has been marketed for it’s nutritional benefits, but did you know that topical application of Soy can also contribute to healthy skin? Here’s 5 questions and answers to get you Soy-smart.

     

    1. What are some of the benefits of using Soy in skincare products?

    Soy and its derivatives have shown to reduce free radical damage (ROS) and reduce inflammation. It also hydrates the skin by stimulating the production of Hyaluronic Acid and stimulates production of collagen and increases skin thickness, which may be beneficial for postmenopausal women who develop a thinner dermis and decreased collagen. Soy isoflavonoids act as anti-glycation agents (AGEs) to fight collagen cross-linking and inhibits collagen degrading enzymes (matrix-metalloproteinase enzymes also referred to as MMPs). Soy ingredients can also produce a brightening effect for hyperpigmentation.

    2. Are there different types of Soy that are used in skincare products? 

    Yes, Soy has different derivatives that are used in various skincare products.  Soybeans are a rich source of flavonoids called isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens or plant compounds that have a weak estrogenic effect. The most commonly used Soy isoflavonoids is Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Oil or Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lecithin that are rich in amino acids that help to smooth, aid in wound healing, and stimulate elastin and collagen synthesis.

    3. What type of skin treatment is Soy a good ingredient for?

    Soy is primarily used in aging skin treatments that are geared towards stimulating elastin and collagen synthesis, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and UV induced photo-damage. Soy isoflavones have also been used in treatment for hyperpigmentation disorders as they prevent melanin from adhering to skin cells, therefore helping with blotchiness and discoloration.

    However, Soy, which is a phytoestrogen, is NOT recommended for melasma treatment since melasma is somewhat estrogen mediated.

    4. Is there any danger in applying Soy-based products topically on the skin? For example on a client with Soy allergies, hormonal imbalances, etc.

    Most concerns or negative effects associated with soy are consumption based, however, Soy may act as a food allergen (similar to milk, eggs or peanuts). If the client has a Soy allergy, then it’s recommended to avoid products that contain Soy. There has been some consumer concerns between Soy and breast cancer. Studies are still on-going to determine whether these isoflavones spur tumor growth. Ensure client’s check with their physician before proceeding to use or prescribe any Soy-based products.

    5. What other key ingredients work with Soy?

    Soy itself has been suggested to have a variety of effects when used in in skin care products. For maximum results, look for products that have an additional complex of age-fighting ingredients that work synergistically with Soy, such as peptides, White Tea and Licorice.

  • Are You Prepared to Use Advanced Modalities?

    DERM_IDI_Modalities_31587
    Today skin therapists have greater access to various forms of advanced modalities than ever before. We are now working in an industry that includes modern day modalities like LED, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), dermaplaning and skin needling to enhance our treatments. But, before you start boosting your services with these options, follow three simple steps to make sure the device is fit not only for you, but for your business and your clients.

    1. Get the Facts: It is imperative before purchasing or using a device that you do your research and make sure it is within your scope of practice. Different states and different countries all have varying regulations. Check with local agencies such as the Board of Cosmetology or Skin Therapy, the Medical Board and Insurance Liability companies to verify what is available for use in your area. Some modalities can only be performed in a medical environment or under the guidance of a physician and could fall outside of your current license guidelines.

    2. Get Certified: Along with your local agency regulations, the modality selected will also dictate whether you need additional or licensing. Always ensure that you are properly trained and have the necessary qualifications before offering advanced types of treatment to clients. Check to see if the manufacturer offers additional training and certification or has specific requirements. Ensure you are following their protocols and heed to any warnings or contraindications.

    3. Get Insured: Having the necessary documentation, consent forms and insurance before offering advanced procedures to your clients can help prevent potential damage to you, your business and your reputation. Verify that your insurance not only covers you personally, but the modality used is also included in the coverage. Investing in insurance that provides general, product and professional liability is a smart step to protect your career.

    Offering today’s cutting edge technology can come with great results and great risk. Do your homework and research all aspects of training, certification and licensing.  Even if you choose not to incorporate a device, stay current and educated especially on pre and post care treatments. Your advanced knowledge of the skin coupled with proper hands-on techniques will still be your foundation to maintaining overall skin health.

    For information on the latest modalities and devices, watch these webisodes: Using Machines to Power up Your Treatments Part 1 and Part 2

  • A Clear Connection: IDI Adresses Adult Acne in Colombia

    It was late when we landed, but even in the late hours of the day, the city of Bogotá pulsed with an amazing energy. Working for a global company gives us the opportunity to travel and educate all around the world, and here we were in the metropolitan heart of Colombia, getting ready to share the latest in skin care ingredients and technology.

    For four days, my colleague Yorcka Kido, regional education manager for Latin America/Caribbean, and I had the honor to meet with our South American hosts and professional skin therapists. We were also able to connect to millions of consumers via local media to educate on skin health with a focus on adult acne.

    Our first two days kicked off with radio interviews to discuss skin facts and tips on acne. We also met with additional press for TV, magazine and newspapers such as El Tiempo, Caracol Colombia, RCN Radio, Televisa Colombia and Vanidades to share the story of skin health and the impact of adult acne for consumers. Questions such as “what causes acne, how do you treat a blemish, what are the best acne-fighting ingredients and can food affect your skin and cause breakout?” were just a few of the key topics during these interviews.

    On our final day in Bogotá, we were the guest speakers at a skin care event. Over 100 professionals attended the seminar ranging from skin therapists and salon owners to doctors and dermatologists. We presented the latest on industry ingredients and trends and also covered controversial topics like parabens, natural versus organic and alternative ingredients. With consumers having more access to various types of skin care, this topic was impactful and relevant for all professionals, especially to stay educated in what’s fact or fiction, and what works and what’s safe.

    Our afternoon featured the latest findings and research on acne and adult acne. We explored the science behind acne development including triggers, causes, and the four factors that contribute to this worldwide skin concern. Attendees also learned about key ingredients in professional and retail products that provide maximum control and innovative treatment solutions.

    Our experience in Bogotá, Colombia was filled with warm hospitality, gracious hosts and people that encompass a passion for skin care and for life. The entire trip allowed us to network, meet new friends and build relationships on the common thread of education. And that no matter where we are in the world, continuing education is truly important and critical to our client’s skin health and to the success of our business.

  • Brazilian Waxing 101

    Ah, the things we do for beauty. And in the case of body waxing, what we remove for beauty is another story. With its increase in popularity with clients and profitability with skin therapists, Brazilian Waxing is a highly requested service.

    Hair removal is not something new for women or men, and regardless of whether it’s a bikini wax or a Brazilian wax, both have had a long history. Research has shown evidence of pubic hair removal all the way back to 4000 to 3000 BC in ancient India, while Western women made it more common in 1945 when bathing suits became more abbreviated. Brazilian waxing is said to have become famous when it was introduced into the United States by the J. Sisters in 1987 at their Manhattan, New York salon.

    So why do clients request this below the belt beauty trend? Whether it’s for swim suit season, cleanliness, convenience or as an alternative to shaving, each client’s reason will vary as well as the amount of hair removal requested. A Brazilian wax by any other name, however, is not always the same. Many salons and spas have varying names for their bikini waxing services. Some examples are the American Wax, a simple basic bikini wax; French Wax, leaves a thin vertical strip in the front, and the Sphinx or the Hollywood, involves complete hair removal from front to back.

    As a senior instructor and skin therapist, I have worked with many professionals of all waxing levels in the industry. Waxing in general can invoke both intrigue about the service and anxiety in the results. Whether you are a seasoned skin therapist and have waxing experience, or a new therapist who may be intimidated by this intimate service, the focus remains the same for every single client – care, confidence and customer service.

    Care
    Taking care of your client before, during and after a waxing service is one of the main reasons for client loyalty. The consultation card is vitally important and should be completed and checked every time a client has a treatment. There are contraindications to waxing such as inflammation, infected skin, systemic diseases, diabetes and oral medications like Isotretinoin. When in doubt, do not wax.

    Consult with your clients about their level of pain threshold, personal comfort, and of course, what to expect during the Brazilian wax. Check with the client on how much hair is being removed. Are they going bare or just barely there? I also recommend discussing the positions for the service. This ensures the client is not surprised when asked to hold the skin taut or to move into a pose for better access to the buttock region. Prep the skin first with a soothing, antibacterial solution which is ideal for cleansing and sanitizing. Ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil and Salicylic Acid, Licorice and Panthenol are perfect for providing naturally antiseptic soothing actions on the skin. Avoid alcohol based products that can pre-sensitize the skin.

    Before application, test the wax consistency and temperature on the inside of the wrist of yourself and the client. What feels mildly warm to you may feel hot to the client. Check in periodically with the client during the service about her comfort and levels of heat sensitivity as that can change during the service. After waxing products are needed to calm, soothe and hydrate the delicate tissue. Ingredients should be water soluble versus oil based as to not trap heat into the skin. Aloe Leaf Juice, Bisabolol, Oat Kernel (Avena Sativa) extract,and Red Hogweed can quickly alleviate sensitivity and calm redness and irritation.

    Confidence
    With Brazilian waxing, clients want to be sure that their most delicate area is in the hands of a professional. Training is key to waxing success and client satisfaction as well as technique and touch. Be sure to know how to use your wax confidently in both application and removal. So which wax should be used? There are three key factors to consider: area to be waxed, strength, and sensitivity level. Multiple waxes can be used in the same service. Soft or cream wax is perfect for larger areas and stripless wax (sometimes referred to as hard wax) is excellent for removing coarser hair in small sections. Stripless wax is often the best choice for those intimate areas since it is used at a low temperature. This wax literally shrink wraps the hair and is less irritating to the skin. Since it does not require a muslin or pellon strip, it is easier to see where the wax was placed and how it will come off.

    Customer Service
    The Brazilian wax service does not end once all the hair has been removed. Providing a home care checklist will help clients understand what they should or should not do following the waxing treatment. For the next 48 hours after the service, the client should avoid sun tanning and tanning beds, saunas, or swimming as well as intense exercise, sweating and tight clothing. Do recommend light exfoliation a few times a week in between the service to help prevent ingrown hairs. Discussing these details with the client and providing the proper education about products to use after waxing will help to maintain a healthy waxed skin and create the best results.

    Best of luck and remember – practice makes perfect!